Saturday, September 5, 2009

BJP: Working hard on the wrong Idea

One of the very useful adages in the sphere of research has been on how to do good research. It is a very simple one. 'Before working on a problem, make sure that there is a problem'. The saying is true at multiple levels and in many spheres. There is a common notion that Japanese take very long to take a decision but are very quick to implement them. This philosophy or style of working had led them to the most remarkable success in the era after The World War II. The Indian politics and the political parties can be studied very well under this theory.

Let me write on the party which has become the darling of the whole media these days and it can rightfully claim to have kept an army of journalists, camera men and what not in employment and given the infotainment industry a big boom in these times. I must confess that these days the BJP drama is doing much better than many prime time soaps. I also confess that though i am not an admirer of BJP policies but i do feel that there are many people in BJP and 'Sangh Parivar' (if they need to mentioned separately) that work very hard and are honest and dedicated to their cause. One person told me that Narendra Modi would not even entertain request of transfer from his bother, who works as a teacher in Gujarat. Such level of honesty in the current times must be appreciated. It is thus heartening to see a large number of people barking up the wrong tree and destructing the nation ad their own organization in effect.

I am not surprised that the largely lethargic, pot bellied congress that is bequeathed from father to usually even more inefficient son still does better than BJP. The main difference lies in the core idea of India both the parties have. While the idea of India Congress professes had been carefully and immaculately drafted by the committed freedom fighters lead by Gandhi who knew each stream that made up the colossal ocean of the country and had the moral authority, dedication and will to turn the course of any strong stream if they needed to. The Idea of India BJP jumped into was that of Veer Savarkar and the Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which were in thick of the murder conspiracy of Gandhi. Even in the early days after independence, Nehru was so wary of their designs that he discounted communism [which was a big scare in democratic nations that time] as a threat to Indian democracy and called upon such communal designs a the biggest challenge to the idea of India.

[Columnist A.G. Noorani quoted an encounter Nehru had in 1963 with young and senior foreign ministry officers. His foreign secretary Y.D. Gundevia reminded Nehru that the communists had won power in Kerala in 1957 and asked: ‘But what happens to the services if the communists are elected to power, tomorrow, at the Centre, here in New Delhi?’

Gundevia records: ‘He pondered over my long drawn out question and then said, looking across the room, ‘Communists, communists, communists, why are all of you so obsessed with communists and communism? What is it that communists can do that we cannot do and have not done for the country? Why do you imagine the communists will ever be voted into power at the Centre?’ There was a long pause after this and then he said, spelling it out slowly and very deliberately, ‘The danger to India, mark you, is not communism, it is Hindu right-wing communalism.’]

This explains much that is wrong in the BJP today. It is confused by contrived ideologies framed by persons who were never that involved with India or even Religion (Veer Savarkar was an atheist at one time). BJP wants to keep Veer Savarkar as its ideal and Hindutva as its philosophy but is it pains to recognize the two nation theory seeded by Savarkar and most emphatically put forward by Jinnah. Such a dilemma or inconsistency in the logical and ration system of thought can occur only because of the wrong assumptions and principles one started with. Infact one can say that proof by contradiction, the idea of India BJP has in mind is wrong. On one side it wants to demonise Jinnah and by contrived implication the minorities in India but also wants to follow policies and ideologies parallel to that of Jinnah's. Simply put, you cannot afford to worship Savarkar and demonize Jinnah at the same time.

It is believed that Shyama Prasad Mukherjee founded Jan Sangh just because he was not at ease with the ideologies and policies of Veer Savarkar and Hindu MahaSabha. BJP was supposed to be the off spring of Jan Sangh and the inherit the legacy of Mukherjee [who vociferously raised his voice against the political mistakes and concessions given by Nehru to Kashmir and stood as the stalwart of parliamentary democracy]. Instead BJP choose to take up the loaded legacy of Savarkar mired with blood of Gandhi and an ideology that provided completeness to the two nation theory of Jinnah. Such ideology in extreme has never been able to accept the secular, dynamic and diverse nature of the Indian system and always took Israel as its model of the state. Thus it left the current BJP leaders look like mavericks and to some extent rebels. This worked well in the late 80s and 90s when the state of the nation lead people to abhor the current system as a whole. Thus the populace saw the BJP rebelling against the system as trying to change things for better. Today, India is not the one of 80's but a confident nation with a lot of optimism. Even a destitute thinks that the future has a lot of good things in store for him and the current fragmentation of politics and it s percolation to panchayat levels has made the common man know the extreme power and strength of the current system and its ability to change their lives. The common belief today is that the idea and principles of Indian system are good just the implementation needs to be bettered rather than the expression of no confidence in the Indian system expressed int he lated 80's. Thus it is not fashionable to act like a maverick today. I think BJP looses more votes than it gains when a Modi says 'Aaj jo Desh ki Halat hai, uski jimedarr sirf Congress hai.'

Many people breathed a sigh of relief when the election result came out. For me there were two reasons. First that we would have a stable government and second that the rigid and antiquated left and the right of Indian politics shall see virtue in dynamism of thought and policy and change their course to a centre left and centre right position devoid of any unjustified grudges towards US or Muslims or irrational tilt towards China, Russia and Mythical and violent Hinduism. Not much could be said about the left parties as they dont like to hijack the prime time space but it is a disappointment to see the way BJP has chosen fr its salvation. In a constant ideological fight between the Jan Sangh and Hindu MahaSabha, Mukherjee and Savarkar, Vajpayee and Sudershan it seems the latter in all cases is wining. I cannot resist the temptation to use the Indian saying that ' Jab Geedhar ki Maut aati hai to woh shehar ki taraf dauta hai.' It seems to me that BJP has accelerated its pace towards annihilation by virtually expelling Vajpayee from the BJP. Today the finance minister, defense minister and foreign minister in the Vajpayee government stand out of the BJP and almost up in arms against it. All the sobering voices that once were attracted by the persona of Vajpayee are venting their frustration out in the open. Whatever little independence the BJP had gained morally from RSS during the rule of Vajpayee has been surrendered even when it was not asked for.

After the elections, the question was whether the BJP will adopt a more inclusive ideology and drop the H word. Many many people were skeptical of this but yet some were hopeful and counted on those out of the "Chintan" today. Now the question is whether the RSS will reform its ideology and it would be hard to fins many hopefuls for the same. But incase it does the advantage to the BJP, the society and the nation will be immeasurable. The RSS powers the cadre of BJP and hence if the word comes from the horse's mouth there wont be any fear of erosion of worker base (another anomaly in BJP that it has to say east to the cadre and west to the voters) and the catchment area of votes for the BJP basin will increase to give it a real national status. Such a correction of direction to this raging and energetic engine of dedicated persons shall lead to wonders in nation building and the society shall emerge as confident and united nation modern and rational in outlook due to the rich culture and past from which all the current values of secularism, acceptance of diversity and democracy arise rather than a inferiority complex stricken man wanting to imitate everything in the west without thought and reason. If this be true many like me shall vote for the BJP.